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Report No. 79

II. Grouping

7.3. Listing of appeals and grouping.-

In the matter of listing of appeals, it has frequently been noticed that adequate care is not taken by the Registry. Very often, there are appeals involving determination of common questions of law, but due notice is not taken of this important aspect and such appeals are posted separately before different benches. Instructions should be issued to the staff concerned for-(i) the grouping of cases involving determination of common question of law; and (ii) posting them together for hearing before the same bench.

7.4. Observations by earlier Committee.-

The Iii &h Courts Arrears Committee presided over by Mr. Justice Shah in its Report1 made the following pertinent recommendation relating to the grouping and classification of cases:

"We recommend that there should be grouping and classification of cases, so that cases raising similar disputes or cases under specialised branches such as tax cases, cases under the Industrial Disputes Act, cases under the Land Acquisition Act, petitions for writs dealing with special statutes may be brought together. This would not only expedite disposal of cases but would also conduce to a uniformity of approach and decisions, with a progressive development of the law. The method of clubbing together and posting before the same Judge or Bench of Judges cases of the same nature, has in our opinion much to commend. This method need not be confined to petitions for writs alone, but may be adopted for all cases including first appeals".

1. High Courts Arrears Committees Report (1972), p. 72. para. 94.

7.5. Appeals under Land Acquisition Act.-

It will useful to refer here, in particular, to appeals under the Land Acquisition Act.1-2 Very often, when large parcels of lands situated in, the same locally or in similarly placed localities are acquired, separate awards are made at different times in respect of the parcels of land comprised in the locality. References from the awards of Land Acquisition Collectors are heard by the District Judge, from whose decisions appeals lie to the High Court. These appeals relating to different parcels of land in the same locality most usually involve common questions of law or fact, but are not filed at the same time nor put up together in the High Court.

This leads not only to want of uniformity, but also to the unnecessary accumulation of cases-unnecessary, because matters involving common questions of fact or law should preferably be put up together, thereby effecting saving of time. There is a remedy which could remove the defect. Officials of the Revenue Department generally are in the full know of the particulars of all such proceedings and of the various awards made by the Land Acquisition Collectors and by the Land Acquisition Courts in references made to them in such cases.

When the matters come up before the High Court in separate appeals from the awards of the Land Acquisition Courts, the counsel in charge of conducting the appeals in the High Court on behalf of the State has ample means and facilities for collecting the relevant data in this regard from the Departments concerned. The Registry of the High Court can make necessary enquiries from the counsel who after contacting the concerned officials of the Revenue Department should give necessary information about appeals relating to the same area. All such pending appeals can then be listed in one batch and posted together for hearing. This will not only facilitate a correct assessment of compensation by the High Court, but will also, at the same time, bring about speedy disposal of the appeals.

1. As to general discussion of appeals under special Acts, see Chapter 9, infra.

7.6. Appeals involving same points settled after filing of appeal.-

Likewise, there are appeals involving points which, since the filing of the memorandum of appeal, have been settled by authoritative decisions. If proper care is taken, it should not be difficult for the Registry to pick out those appeals and list them in one batch before the High Court for disposal.

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